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from a friend :)

from a friend :)

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Waiting for grades …

Hey everyone, I had an interesting little insight occur recently.  I am taking a course in how to instruct adults and in this I will be learning not only teaching techniques, theories and such but also how to evaluate my students progress.  The most commonly known and widely accepted method of recognition is grading.

As I wait for my own projects and assignments to be graded I can’t help but feel a little nervous, grades do matter after all.  But from past experiences I have learned that once you have a piece of paper on your wall saying that you are accomplished and knowledgeable in your field … no one cares what grades you received during your learning period.  They really only care that you know your stuff.

So while I wait, I have come to realize that what ever my grades are in this course, the only thing that really matters is that I learn.  How good my grades are simply reflect how well my instructors THINK I am learning.  The true measure of my knowledge will only be seen once I put the things I have learned into practice.

Don’t stress about grades, just learn.

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Social Media in Relation to Trends and Roles of Adult Educators

Hello everyone, the hubby took the kid out for a couple of hours so I have some quiet time finally.  Yay!

This post is to discuss the topic of social media and it’s effect on the trends and roles of adult educators.  This is an assignment in the course I am taking but I have found the subject to be intensely interesting.  During my search for academic articles (very, very few) and websites (a LOT!) I found myself reading and reading and getting completely off track.  Everything I read did have some relevance to my research but I’d find myself planning out how to use the methods I was reading about rather than focusing on actual trends and roles.

After finally putting together a good list of sources Danielle and I did our final Skype session and discussed our findings.  Our conversation had some similar aspects to how I found my research.  We would go off on small tangents and talk shop but Danielle was great at bring us back to our work.

Two key points we found when considering the roles of adult educators when utilizing social media as a teaching tool are:

Guides – when using a social media such as Facebook or Pinterest there is such a wealth of knowledge that it is easy for a student to get sidetracked.  An instructor can give a few starting places to begin research and interaction but must help the student stay focused on the material being learned.

Ambassadors – one great aspect of social media is the ability to bring several people together from around the world to learn together and ask question.  As an instructor much of this ‘bringing together’ will be up to them.  The instructor must communicate with other instructors and institutions to organize meetings and pool information.

These are only two roles in association with social media and the roles of instructors.  With this in mind I have realized that as technology changes and advances the roles of instructors will also change.  An instructor has to be fluid in how they perceive themselves and their role in a students progress.

Emerging trends in adult education in relation to social media … well, social media pretty much IS an emerging trend.  When considering adult education versus child eduction it is even more so of an emerging trend as many adults are still learning about social media and becoming familiar with various programs or computers in general.

From one article I read I came to the realization that different types of social media may be easier to relate to and understand according to age or generation.  This article can be found here: http://www.edweek.org/dd/articles/2010/06/16/03networking.h03.html

One subject stated that while he liked to use Twitter the young students in his school preferred Facebook.    This was simply a statement of preference and could have a number of reasons behind it but when instructing adults it might be something to consider.

Some other insights into the social media topic that Danielle saw are the endless possibilities that are there for learning, from basic  interests to personal learning preferences.  If someone likes to learn through discussion, well, find an expert and open a chat window.  If a person likes to learn from video – You Tube! or from reading, look up an article or read through a forum.  Simply surfing through a site can offer bits of new knowledge.

A major point that Danielle made as well is that as instructors we must keep ourselves up to date with the current technology and programs out there.  We do not need to be proficient in them ourselves but we must be able to at least understand the basics.  Staying current will prevent difficulties in communication and provide more learning opportunities for the student.

When considering my field of cosmetology I know that many name brands have posted videos for stylists that are a combination of an ad and instruction on their products.  Also, there are a on line learning sites such as Saco and several You Tube videos on hair cuts.  These are wonderful tools that as an instructor I can utilize to stimulate my students.  However, social media in particular is of great use as well.  Facebook groups for different classes to post pictures of their work, post site finds of great information and inspiration.  Skype to communicate with other students and instructors across the globe.  Twitter to keep up to date with colleagues at hair shows.   The list is only limited by the imagination as to what I can use social media for as I teach cosmetology.

Video conferencing is such a neat tool.  Danielle and I live different cities and yet were able to connect easily and have meaningful conversations.  Having the ability to talk to someone so far away and yet be face to face really showed me how condensed our world has become.  I have learned that some things are not as far away as I believed.  For example, I have heard for years how hairstyles in New York are a year ahead of what styles are popular here in BC, and they are a year behind some European countries.  Now I realize that I can find out for myself if that is true, and even find out what those styles are.  I simply need to connect with a stylist in New York or maybe the UK.  They are truly just a click away.

As a result of our research Danielle has some plans to put together a social media page dedicated to her teaching efforts where her students can interact with her and I am going to be posting and saving any sites on teaching and hair styling I come across.  Using social media within the classroom takes the student outside of that room and into a world of their choosing (or the instructors).  Instant gratification in the search for knowledge, such a wonderful thing.

References

100 Ways You Should Be Using Facebook in Your Classroom – Online College.org. (n.d.).Online College: Find & Compare AccreditedColleges Easily. Retrieved from http://www.onlinecollege.org/2009/10/20/100-ways-you-should-be-using-facebook-in-your-classroom/

Education Week: Social Networking Goes to School. (n.d.). Education Week American Education News Site of Record. Retrieved from http://www.edweek.org/dd/articles/2010/06/16/03networking.h03.html

Facebook a valid educational tool, teachers told | Education | Education Guardian. (n.d.). Latest US news, world news, sport and comment from the Guardian | guardiannews.com | The Guardian. Retrieved from http://www.guardian.co.uk/education/2008/jun/25/schools.uk2

Using Social Media in Teaching and Professional Development July 12 – August 6, 2010. (n.d.).LINCS Literacy Information and Communication System. Retrieved from http://lincs.ed.gov/lincs/discussions/professionaldevelopment/10onlinepartIII

Sources found by Danielle:

References

100+ examples of use of social media for learning « Centre for Learning & Performance Technologies. (n.d.). Centre for Learning & Performance Technologies. Retrieved from http://c4lpt.co.uk/social-learning-handbook/100-examples-of-use-of-social-media-for-learning/

How Social Media Has Changed Learning: A Few Answers Via Tweet Chat | Mindflash. (n.d.).Create Online Training | Online Training Software | Mindflash. Retrieved from http://www.mindflash.com/blog/2011/07/how-social-media-has-changed-learning-a-few-answers-via-tweet-chat/

Online Hairdressing School | Hair Cutting Video Tutorials | Hair Styling. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.sacohaironline.com/

Top 100 Tools for Learning. (n.d.). Centre for Learning & Performance Technologies. Retrieved from http://c4lpt.co.uk/top100tools/

Top 12 Ways Technology Changed Learning | TeachHUB. (n.d.). TeachHUB | K-12 News, Lessons & Shared ResourcesBy Teachers, For Teachers. Retrieved from http://www.teachhub.com/how-technology-changed-learning

Some interesting sites I came across …. and lost some time in 🙂

Learn a Language | Free Online Language Learning. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.learnalanguage.com/

Learn to Type | Teach Typing | Free Typing Tutor and Typing Lessons. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.typingweb.com/

Learning Styles Quiz | HowToLearn.com. (n.d.). Learning Styles & How To Learn Anything Fast from HowToLearn.com. Retrieved from http://www.howtolearn.com/learning-styles-quiz

Teaching Tree. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://teachingtree.co/

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Choosing a Topic

My partner Danielle and I first video chatted about 2 weeks ago after trading several e-mails.  This Skype session was supposed to be a quick ‘hi hello’ and to decide on a topic for our assignment for Trends and Roles in Adult Education.  We ended up talking for quite some time just getting to know each other.

When it came time to pick a topic I suggested Social Media.  The link can be found in my reference list below and it takes you to the blog of George Takei who was my inspiration for this topic. George Takei has used various social media formats in an effort to educate the public on gay and lesbian rights and issues, as well as internment camps of Japanese-Americans during the II World War.  George Takei is most well known as Hikaru Sulu of the USS Enterprise on Star Trek but his internet presence is steadily growing.

I wanted to research the topic of using Social Media as a teaching tool.  Such resources as Twitter and Facebook as well as many others are free and must have great potential for teachers of all ages.  Danielle seemed interested as well so we agreed to meet again on Skype in one week. We would e-mail each other the sites and articles we find before then.

As it turns out we couldn’t make that Skype meeting and rescheduled it for another day.  But this has been a great topic and I will continue discussing it further in my next post.

References:

George Takei, ‘Star Trek’ Star, On Coming Out, LGBT Rights And ‘Don’t Say Gay’ Bill – Allegiance. (n.d.). Allegiance – A New Broadway Musical – Official Broadway Show Site. Retrieved from http://www.allegiancemusical.com/article/george-takei-star-trek-star-coming-out-lgbt-rights-and-dont-say-gay-bill

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Grow baby grow!

Grow baby grow!

Ok, so finished product. I wrapped them is plastic as best I could. I’ll leave them in the sun as much as possible and when it gets a bit warmer outside I’ll put them on the back deck to get them climatised. To be honest this is the first time I’ve started seedlings this way. Usually I use the little plastic starter kits but other than being wasteful I also find that some of the plants don’t transfer well. Getting them out of the containers is tricky.
Fingers crossed that this works!

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Watering

Watering

Kim was bored by the project by now and off watching TV. I poured some water into the rubber maid lids which I knew the cartoons would soak up, but I wanted to make sure the seeds would get some water right away as well. Simply pouring water onto newly planted seeds can displace the seeds. A simple solution for me was to take a carton top which I had just recently cut out and place it back onto the carton. This spread the water out and kept everything neat and tidy.
I used a sauce pan to water .. which is a little weird I admit. I have juice jugs, water cans, etc. But I have a bad wrist and using a pan means that I can keep my wrist straight and turn my arm at the shoulder. Much easier.

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Soil and planting

Soil and planting

After filling the bottom half with potting soil we put in a layer of seedling soil. Kim picked out what we were planting from my ‘basket o’ seeds’ and we placed them neatly on the soil. I labelled the cartoons as she then sprinkled more seedling soil on top. (well … sprinkling for a three year old is more like dumping but at least she didn’t make a huge mess)